My name is Mary. I am a retired schoolteacher, mother and proud grandmother. I am on my way to celebrating my 82nd birthday. Unfortunately, I lost my husband a few years ago and now I live alone in our home with memories of happier days. I have three amazing children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a very hard-working son-in- law. I am a grandmother to six beautiful and smart grandchildren whose photos are everywhere in my home. My two sons live here in Winnipeg; however, my daughter lives out of province and I don’t see any of them as much as I would like these days. They all have busy lives, balancing work responsibilities and the challenges of being parents with younger children. The lockdown restrictions of the pandemic have made visiting my family almost impossible, and I have been spending more and more time alone.

Your happiness may be closer than you think

Mary and Adaobi having fun in the kitchen!

Prior to the pandemic I had moments of loneliness between periods of seeing my family, but I had activities to help fill my days. I enjoyed, traveling, walking, baking, sewing, visiting friends and family. These gave me purpose, joy and contentment. But the isolation created by the pandemic, compounded my loneliness, and I found I lost interest in the things I used to enjoy. One day somehow just blended into the next day, and then to the next and so on.

One night at my home, I had a serious fall in the bathroom. I am slowly on the mend. Still, months later the bruising is gone, but I am still experiencing some rib pain and now some loss of confidence. My children and the rest of the family were all extremely concerned about what had happened to me when they learned of my fall. They were also becoming aware of my loneliness, lack of enthusiasm and lost confidence and started to push me towards considering care. I am not, and was not, ready to sell my home and move into assisted living, although I was persuaded to put my name on a wait list. The idea of losing my independence with any type of care did not appeal to me and my reluctance was evident to my family. My daughter became adamant that if I were to remain in my home, I needed to have regular help to manage my household and to have some companionship. A friend referred to Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. She made the call and, reluctantly, I agreed to a meeting with Nurse Next Door based on my family’s insistence.

Two lovely women showed up from Nurse Next Door to see me a short time later. We talked about my life, my family, my health, my goals, what makes me happy and my strong desire to stay in my own home. By the end of the Caring Consult, I decided to push past my fear and accept just a little bit of care. I would sign up with Nurse Next Door for a short trial period and reevaluate after a few visits, if for nothing more than to satisfy my family (especially my daughter).

The Nurse Next Door Care Designer came back the following week and introduced me to “my perfect caregiver match”, Adaobi. I was skeptical at first about things would progress with my scheduled visits. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how things have worked out. 

During my weekly visits with Adaobi, we work together on projects like sewing or making my favorite muffins and have even made a holiday ham with fruits. She helps me to keep my household clean, tidy and fresh. We do laundry together and change the bed sheets. She organizes my fridge, sweeps, wipes countertops and dusts. Although I bath myself, she draws my bath and ensures I am safe getting in and out of the tub (as I am scared to fall again). Every week is a little different in terms of what gets done here and what projects we start on or outings we plan and that’s okay, because it keeps things interesting.

The trial period has long since passed and I am on continuous visits now. I greatly look forward to seeing Adaobi and spending time with her. We laugh a lot together. My disposition has completely changed and my whole outlook is much more positive. Having this little bit of weekly care has allowed me to stay safely and happily in my home. It has given me a new type of independence. Really, it’s changed my life’s path.

Actually, the assisted living facility just called me the other day to tell me that my turn had come up and they had space for me to move into a nice two-bedroom suite. I declined their offer and told them I was managing at home fine for the moment thanks to Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. I really just want to stay in my own home, and I think my family is happy with this decision as well.

I am enjoying my hobbies again and am looking forward to traveling one day, socializing with my friends, spending time with my family and giving big hugs. I have a happier life now because of the team at Nurse Next Door and I am feeling hopeful. 

I wanted to share my story. I thought it might help others to consider care as I know how hard this decision was for me. Maybe as you read this you will see yourself in my words. Maybe you, too, are struggling and are not sure what to do.

There is help. You don’t need to be afraid. Your family’s worry can be lessened, and your happiness may be closer than you think. Call Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. They helped change my life and I promise you, you, too, can start looking forward to happier days.

Sincerely, Mary from Winnipeg.